An Angel Fire Rock Romance; a Stand Alone Novel
When you mix Hot Rockers with Military Special Ops You get the Whole Package!
TSgt Ryker Lyons is an elite member of a six-man Special Ops Surgical Team, well five men and one vexing woman. That’s a problem because Major Tia Myers is fierce, competent, utterly breathtaking, and completely immune to his charms. Teammates, buddies, perhaps reluctant friends, they’re kicking ass and saving lives. Ryker should leave it at that, but the raven-haired beauty has him risking everything to prove he’s exactly the man she needs.
When the mega rock band Angel Fire arrives on a USO tour, Ryker is given an opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream, but it comes at a cost. He must choose between the music stirring his soul or the woman who’s stolen his heart.
The stakes are high, careers are at risk, but failure isn't an option. Ryker won't walk away from the music, and certainly not from the woman invading his dreams. He’s a man who gets what he wants, and whether Tia wants it or not, she belongs to him.
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Take a peek at the first few chapters…..
Chapter 2 continues here….
A quick sweep by a drone, and Command called in the all-clear. Tia climbed off the ground and went to fetch her pack. Lyons grabbed it first, hefting it up for her to slip into the straps. She could grab her own pack, damn it, but said nothing as she shrugged into it and settled the seventy pounds on her back. A deep inhale brought his musky scent to flood her nostrils. None of them had seen a shower in two days, and she hated to think how funky she must smell, but Ryker always smelled warm, male, and intoxicating.
With a hard squeeze of her lids, she reminded herself she was nearly a married woman. Within a few months of the end of this deployment, she and Scott would tie the knot. That was something they needed to start planning, but managing wedding plans on deployment was laughable at best, and Scott, like most men, had little interest in planning the big event.
“Thanks,” she managed and then took another sniff before Lyons wandered off.
He was simply trying to help, and she shouldn’t bite his head off, except Lyons wouldn’t have done that for any of the other men on the team.
Collins gave the signal, and the six of them took off with him in the lead. Lyons paced himself a few steps in front of her position while Warren took up the rear. Drummond and Marks hoofed it in silence. As the sun sank below the horizon, Collins picked up the pace, pressing forward to their destination.
All that sounded was the chugging of their breaths and the faint whispering of the wind. The sun disappeared, but the unrelenting heat remained as the sky blackened with the coming of night. When she wasn’t sucking air, Tia pulled at her hydration tube. It was a fancy name for the hose attached to her CamelBak, but that was the military. They had a name for everything. By now, her water had to be nearly half gone.
When they arrived at their destination, they worked with the flawless precision of a well-trained team, speaking only when necessary. The special ops troops hung around, offering to help, not realizing they were simply in the way. Tia and her team had the same intensive training as these special ops forces. Using only night-vision goggles, they set up their gear in the pitch-black and prepared to perform field surgeries.
In less than ten minutes, she and Lyons had the anesthesia and ventilator support prepped. They worked nearly on top of each other, moving in a well-choreographed dance. Warren cleared his area and had his surgical tray prepared. The docs examined their two patients while the unit’s combat medic rattled off the injuries and what he’d done to stabilize the wounded thus far. A needle had been placed in the chest of one man, and the medic had applied a pressure bandage to the abdomen of the other. Marks took the one with a chest wound while Collins and Drummond paired up to operate on the belly wound.
Tia sedated the first man, giving him a dose of morphine, while Marks inserted a chest tube. She then started an IV in the second patient while Lyons placed a breathing tube and hooked their patient up to the portable ventilator. Once the patient was sedated, Collins and Drummond performed quick field surgery on their patient’s abdomen while she handled anesthesia. It didn’t take long before they had the wounded stabilized.
“Nice work,” she said to the team.
“Thanks.” Collins glanced up as he tied off the last suture.
Except for the hike, the mission had been easy compared to some of the trauma they’d seen. Another call to Command, and two helicopters were dispatched from forward ops, arriving a few short minutes later. The men from the special operations unit piled into one of the helicopters while she and her team loaded the wounded into the other. The special ops unit returned to their base of operations while her team transported the wounded to Bagram Airfield.
Designated a Level III facility, the theater hospital accepted all transfers from lower-level facilities and directly from the field. Their patients would undergo further stabilization before transport back to the United States via Germany.
“How long are we staying at Bagram?” Lyons asked Collins.
Collins checked his patient and then glanced up. “A couple of days. There’s a transport scheduled. We’ll hitch a ride rather than waste an air resource.”
Warren’s face split into a grin. “That’s awesome! Lily is going to be so excited.”
“How’s she doing?” Tia asked.
“Good, but I think she’s getting tired and worried I won’t be home in time.”
“Well,” Collins said, “you’ll have two days of downtime to talk to your wife.”
“Talk,” Warren snorted. “Bagram’s got Internet. I’m Skyping.” He turned to her. “You’ll have a chance to talk to your man, too, T.”
Now, that would be a welcome treat. Access to Internet was restricted in the places they frequented.
“I might just do that,” she said.
Bagram would be a well-needed respite. For the past seven weeks, they’d been stationed in far-forward locations, specifically in support of the unit they assisted. That meant field showers, cold and tasteless food, and communications blackout from the rest of the world. In Bagram, they would have access to heated water, something more palatable than MREs, probably chow prepped by eighteen-year-old wannabe cooks who couldn’t figure out the right end of an egg, but they’d have Internet.
She looked forward to three things. First, she’d have a chance to hook up to the Internet, check her mail, and if she were exceptionally lucky, Skype with Scott. Second, she’d be able to visit the base exchange and restock her supply of deodorant and toothpaste. Sometimes, the simple things really did matter. And, third, she intended to get a little distance from her team.
They lived and breathed as a unit. Fortunately, they worked well together, but sometimes, she needed space from the five overly masculine men.
The helicopter landed, and they offloaded their patients, transferred care to the local medical team, and then took inventory of their packs. Resupply would happen in the morning.
After her patient care responsibilities were concluded, T headed to the front of the hospital where she’d been told to wait for further instructions.
“Where you headed, T?” Lyons called as she headed out the main hospital doors.
“Showers first and then a hot meal. Real food.”
“Sounds perfect. I think I’ll join you.” The glint in his eye said he was thinking exactly what he’d said. The man was full of innuendo.
Collins arrived, saving her from answering, although images of Lyons soaped up in a shower already flooded her mind. Collins handed out lodging assignments, and for the first time in nearly seven weeks, Tia wouldn’t be sleeping next to the gentle snores of the men.
The docs excused themselves and departed. Warren grabbed his ruck and said he was going to catch a few Zs. She knew he was headed to the Internet lounge. Warren’s wife, Lily, was taking care of their two boys and had two more on the way. She was six months pregnant with twins, and Warren would be lucky to finish his deployment in time to be home for their births.
She understood the need to connect with loved ones. She was dying to speak with Scott, but the time zones meant it was in the middle of the night for him. She’d wait and try to catch him first thing in the morning before he left for work.
She paused, curious as to why Lyons hadn’t taken off to get into whatever mischief he could find. Despite his over-the-top protectiveness, he really was a great guy.
A young airman approached the medical center, and he hopped up to hold the door. The girl gave him a long once-over before blushing three shades of scarlet. Lyons grinned back, his eyes saying exactly what he’d like to do with her later on.
Fraternization rules were strict, but that didn’t mean people weren’t getting it on. At Bagram, where there were more opportunities to find private places than the field, she was surprised the rate of STDs wasn’t higher than reported. The clinics handed out condoms like water, and the base exchange barely kept up with their paid stock.
After watching the exchange, she shook her head. “Someday, you’re going to get into trouble.”
“Yes, you. Do you have to chase every girl you see?”
“T, I don’t exactly have to chase them,” he said with a snort.
“Hmm,” she said.
“Hmm, what? You judging me?”
“Not judging, but you’re missing out on the best part.”
“It’s not always about a quick fuck.”
“It’s always about the fuck.” He swung his arm in an arc. “Do you see this place? Competition is fierce.”
Except Lyons would win that race. His rugged good looks and muscular physique combined into a potent mix of masculinity and raw sexual power.
She shrugged. “I suppose not. I guess I’m just not the fuck-’em-and-leave-’em kind of gal. Good thing I have Scott.”
His lips twisted with that comment. Why he disliked her fiancé as much as he did wasn’t something she understood. “I’d say you’re most definitely not a fuck-’em-and-leave-’em kind of gal, T. A man would have to be crazy to leave you.”
“What does that mean?”
“You’re a woman a man keeps, although tough luck for him if he does. Any romantic gesture you’d just toss back in his face.”
“You make me sound ungrateful.”
His left eyebrow arched up, referring to their earlier conversation.
“Please! You’re still stuck on that?”
“I don’t chase ’em, but I take care of them when they’re in my bed. That includes flowers, chocolates, and letters more than once a century. I bet Scottie can’t say the same.”
“Ugh, you’re hopeless.” Their conversation was headed nowhere fast. There was no reason to be discussing her love life or his. “If you want the pretty girl you jumped up for, you’ve waited too long. You’re never going to find her now.”
He glanced over his shoulder and looked longingly at the doors the airman had disappeared behind. “Despite what you think…Major, I can keep it in my pants. I’m not desperate to fuck the first thing I see, and sometimes, the right one is worth the wait.”
By the switch from her nickname to her rank, she’d hit on a nerve.
With a shrug, she slung her pack over her shoulder. “Frankly, I don’t really care who you fuck or don’t fuck or care to fuck. I’m headed to the showers.” It was time to wash a week’s worth of dusty grit out of her hair and grime off her body.
“Need help?” he offered.
She laughed. Lyons never stayed angry or upset for long. Virtually nothing fazed the man.
“What? Like you scratch mine, and I’ll scratch yours?”
The heated look in his eyes had her taking a step back. Those might not have been the best words to use because she knew exactly what he was thinking. She was thinking it, too, but her fiancé and the officer and enlisted split in their ranks ensured nothing would ever come of her comment.
“I think you might want to go chase that pretty airman,” she said, deflecting the unwanted sexual tension.
“Maybe she’s not who I want,” he asserted.
She didn’t care who he wanted. Right now, he stood in the way of her and a little hot water therapy. Unlike their post, Bagram had few restrictions on how long she spent in the shower.
“Well,” she said, stepping away, “you have an entire base to find your one.”
Or at least, his one for the night. Knowing Lyons, there would be two and maybe even three.
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